Which businesses have the best rewards programs?

Published: Monday, June 24, 2019 @ 2:50 PM

Whether you’re a casual shopper or someone skilled in the art of saving, the best customer rewards programs can be your wallet’s best friend.

Over the past year, several stores big and small have overhauled their customer rewards programs so that guests can be eligible for big savings on the spot.

Here are the places with the best customer rewards programs

To help your dollar stretch further, we’re going to show you some of the best customer rewards programs out there.

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Some commonalities of a great rewards program are:

  • They offer the customer a chance to win a prize, product or points toward a purchase.
  • They offer cash back, discounts or other savings direct to the customer.
  • They increase sales by encouraging customer loyalty and retention

AMC Stubs A-List

AMC Stubs A-List is a loyalty program that gives you some red carpet treatment when you go to the movies. Unlike similar movie apps, there are no blackout dates with AMC Stubs A-List.

Perks: Get 10% back on food and drink purchases and more. The program used to let you see up to three movies every week for $19.95 a month. Now, AMC says “Prices are determined by geography and may vary by location.”

How to sign up: Join AMC Stubs A-List here.

Amazon Prime

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, offers Prime as its premiere customer rewards program.

Perks: Amazon Prime’s benefits are many. Here are some of the best:

  • Free shipping: 2-day and same-day shipping on eligible items in the U.S.
  • Prime video: Unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows.
  • Whole Foods discounts: Exclusive savings for Prime members, including 5% back at Whole Foods Market.
  • Prime Music: Unlimited, ad-free access to hundreds of Prime Playlists and more than 2 million songs.

How to sign up: Begin a free trial by signing up for Prime here.

Bed, Bath & Beyond

You may get those Bed, Bath & Beyond 20% coupons every so often, but do you know about their Beyond Plus rewards program is great.

Cost: $29 a year

Perks: You get 20% off your entire purchases as well as free shipping on eligible items. Depending on what you buy, you could potentially make up the membership cost in one purchase.

How to sign up: Create an account here.

Bloomin’ Brands

Blooming’ Brands has a loyalty program that includes a stable of some of America’s favorite restaurants: Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.

Perks: Free dessert and get 50% off every fourth visit with Dine Rewards (good for Carrabba’s, Bonefish and Fleming’s, too)

How to sign upRegister for one and you’re in for all of them.

CVS

If you shop at CVS pharmacies, CVS Extracare lets you save on household items you actually need. There are some restrictions, though, including alcohol and prescriptions.

Perks: Use your card and earn 2% back on Extracare Rewards. Extra savings can be found when the store also sends you personalized coupons based on your shopping habits.

How to sign up: Create an Extracare account online.

Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A One is the restaurant’s rewards program that lets you earn points with every meal or sandwich you buy.

Perks: Free meals, chicken biscuits and surprise rewards by eating at Chick-Fil-A. The more you buy, the closer you are to moving up to another membership tier. They are:

  • Chick-Fil-A One
  • Chick-Fil-A Silver (when you earn 1,000 points in a year)
  • Chick-Fil-A Red (when you earn 5,000 points in a year)

How to sign up:  Become a member by creating an account online or by downloading the Chick-fil-A app through the App Store or the Google Play.

DSW

When it comes to stores, DSW VIP Rewards is considered one of the best customer loyalty programs for what it offers.

DSW VIP has three membership tiers. They are:

  • VIP Club: Free
  • VIP Gold: $200 annual spend
  • VIP Elite: $500 annual spend

Perks: Earn points that turn into dollars ($1 + 1 point for the Club and Gold plans; 2 points for Elite). All memberships come with free shipping. You also get 50 points for donating new or gently used shoes and $5 to $10 off for your birthday.

How to sign up: Join DSW’s VIP membership by creating an account here.

Nordstrom

The Nordy Club is a loyalty program from Nordstrom. If you’re a high end shopper of apparel, perfume, shoes and other niceties.

Perks: You can earn points that convert into Nordstrom Notes, which can be redeemed like cash in stores and online. You also get exclusive access to brand launches and free basic alterations on regular-priced clothes.

How to sign up:  Sign up online or at a Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack store with a salesperson.

Sephora

If cosmetics is your obsession, Sephora’s Beauty Insider program has three tiers: Insider (free), Vib ($350) and Rouge ($1,000).

Perks: For the entry membership, 1 point = $1. The Vib plan offers 1.25 points and Rouge has 1.5 points per $1. Rouge also offers free shipping. Members also get a free birthday gift.

How to sign up: Create an account here.

Starbucks

Starbucks Rewards is the coffee company’s loyalty program. Every time members pay using the app or a rewards card, they earn 2 Stars for each dollar spent and a free birthday treat.

Perks: Free coffees along with the ability to order ahead and pay with your phone. Get even more Stars with a Starbucks Rewards Visa Card.

Target Redcard

The Target REDcard is the retailer’s loyalty credit and debit card. The good thing is that it doesn’t have an annual fee.

The store also continues to roll out a new rewards program, Target Circle, to select cities. Target Circle offers 1% back on every purchase. You also get free next-day delivery on essentials with Restock.

Perks: With Target Redcard, members save 5% every day on in-store and online purchases. Read our REDcard review.

How to sign up: Apply for a Target REDcard here and for Target Circle, sign up at Target.com/circle, by downloading the  Target app.

Want to see more stores and restaurants that offer free food on your birthday? Here you go!